Pizza Day: The Leela Palace Chennai serves up a fun menu, look out for Korean style and Turkish variants
Last time we walked into Spectra at the Leela Palace Chennai, the cheerful flames of the wood fired pizza oven caught our attention instantly. This time with Pizza Day (February 9) around the corner, Executive Chef Rohit Tokhi tells us that that’s where all the action is going to be at, for the coming fortnight. With more than a dozen options especially created for the occasion, we find the a la carte menu for the pizza festival has covered a wide range of global favourites.
“We wanted to do something different — not just toppings. So we went back to thick crust pizzas and included whole wheat and multigrain bases. Though you can also opt for thin-crust, hand-tossed or cheese-burst,” says the chef, adding that such festivals work as trial runs to figure out the dishes that were popular with their guests and then include them in their regular menu.
We start with a bite of a classic Italian — the Pizza Bianca. Thick-crust with a generous topping of caramelised onions that lend it some endearing sweet notes, while tomato was conspicuous by its absence. Instead savour mushy slow-cooked leeks and for cheese it is goat cheese and parmesan. The Mexicana Pizza was predictably dripping with the famous Mexican tomato salsa. However, the surprise was the dollop of cream of avocado and the scatter of nachos on the mince that added some crunch to the dish. Generous with the sauce and garnish, this one is filling and has to be treated as a meal in itself. We further douse it with chilli flakes to pander to our spice cravings. For a lighter option, we liked the Turkish Pide that looked pretty with bright green spinach, speckled with sesame, along with cheeses and tomato. Using a Turkish flatbread as a base, this one is topped with feta and mozzarella.
Other options that we were tempted to explore included the Bulgogi Pizza — the Korean barbecue beef pizza that comes with peppers and corn. They also have Calzone on the menu, with options of customised fillings like ham, spicy chicken and seafood, among others. However, the English variant with bacon, tomato, eggs and pork sausage is definitely on my must-have list!
Priced from INR 850 (plus taxes) onwards, available from February 8 to 22.